Katie Kinne

Weymouth planner says preserving open space could boost business growth

Katie Kinne
Weymouth planner says preserving open space could boost business growth

By: Ed Baker

Residents can enjoy a stroll on a new 75-foot path to Abigail Adams State Park and a view of a waterfront vista in North Weymouth because of a planning department restoration project.

Weymouth officials will dedicate the property once owned by resident Richard Kibby, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. to highlight the project’s restoration to a passive recreation area.

Weymouth Planning Director Robert Loungo said the town’s purchase of the property from Kibby gives residents open space to enjoy and would hopefully boost commercial development along nearby Route 3A

“That is exactly what this property can do if we can figure out how to leverage the open space to entice private investment,” Loungo said. “That is the way we need to think. Investing in open space is good. We need to keep investing in appropriate acquisitions of open space and there are benefits you can get with that open space to entice private investment near it.”

The former property is located next to the Saltwater Creek Condominiums and has 975-square-feet of land on the waterfront, 5,000 square-feet of land on the west side where the house previously existed and 58,934 square feet of undeveloped land.

Weymouth and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation paid Kibby $447,250 to purchase the property in June 2009.

The DCR paid Kibby $250,000 for the purchase and Weymouth provided $207,893 to complete the land sale.

Loungo said Weymouth’s payment for the parcel involved the use of funds from the town’s Community Preservation Act account and maintenance of the site would be done by DCR.

“The pathway leads to Abigail Adams State Park and it is a continuation of a passive recreation area with benches and nice vistas,” Loungo said. “We have done some landscaping in that area.”

A DCR deed restriction prohibits structures from being built on the property and the agency intends to maintain the property in conjunction with its regular maintenance of Adams State Park.

DanDel, a Hanson based firm, recently completed landscaping at the property to make the site inviting to the public.

Town council approved a transfer of $50,000 from the community preservation account on Nov. 9 to prune trees and complete landscaping at the property.

Completion of the landscape has created a connection from the property to an existing 150-yard circular path that is linked to Adams State Park.

Loungo said completion of the parkway extension to the state park and the vista lends itself to changing the code of zoning ordinances to encourage commercial development along Route 3A.

“We are looking that area along Route 3A where the Arbor Inn is down to the U-Haul site,” Loungo said. “We are looking to change the zoning that lends itself to developers to redevelop those parcels. When you go down there it is getting tired. We are looking at that area and maybe changing the zoning to create mixed uses for residential and commercial development on that side of Route 3A up from the Hingham line to Neck Street."

"I think the park area make the site more attractive to potential developers. That open space acquisition opens up economic opportunities as well.”

Loungo said the redevelopment of the former Hingham shipyard into The Launch, a commercial complex with shops and restaurants, has enhanced the area and opportunities exist to improve commercial development on Route 3A

“We feel there are opportunities to enhance the visual aspects of the Weymouth portion of Route 3A, if we do it right and create zoning to encourage economic opportunities,” Louongo said. “We do need to be sure we have quality designs. I think this is an opportunity. The mayor wants to restore that area.”

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